The Emotional Freedom Techniques are simple but powerful acupressure techniques used to remove negative emotions. “Tapping” is a broader version of EFT with a greater variety of styles. Often, as is the case in my work, these terms are used interchangeably. Many people who come to Wellspring wish to change old habits, thinking patterns, or deal with physical challenges. All of these have something in common, and that is negative emotions that seem to hang on in spite of the desire to change.
People struggle with all kinds of emotional obstacles in the process of making changes in their lives. “I’ll die without that cigarette” (for a smoker), “I just can’t control myself” (someone struggling with “road rage”), “I can’t make it past 3 o’clock without hitting the candy machine” (a dieter), “My hands are so ugly” (someone who bites their nails), “I’ve always been different” (someone who speaks with a stutter). Often in the case of unwanted fears (fear of flying, public speaking, spiders, snakes, etc.) the negative emotion brings about a powerful physical response that includes perspiring, heart pounding, and even shaking.
EFT, or tapping, quickly and effectively allows a person to release these negative emotions so that the mind and body are free to create new habits, attitudes and physical responses. The process is so simple that it can be learned in a few minutes, and even children can use it easily. It is non-invasive, both physically and emotionally, so it has only positive side effects.
To use EFT, a person learns the location of key stress relief points on the body. The tapping process involves tapping on these points with the fingertips while tuning into the problem, emotion or physical challenge. That’s all!
We often use a scale of 1-10 to determine the degree of change a person experiences through the “tapping”. It is not unusual to see the level of intensity drop from a 10 to a 4 in less than 5 minutes. With further work, many people find that the problem emotion is completely dissolved. Sometimes the work we do in the session is permanent, and that emotion will not return. Sometimes further work is needed, or if EFT proves ineffective we use other approaches.
Because of its simplicity, motivated clients will be able to continue to make tremendous progress by tapping on their own, in situations that trigger the old pattern. It is not uncommon, for example, for a smoker to come in for a consultation, where they are taught how to use EFT for cigarette cravings. By the time many come back for their first paid hypnotherapy session, many have effortlessly cut their smoking in half, before even using hypnosis, simply through the consistent use of tapping techniques.
We are still learning why EFT works so well. The existing theory is that “the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system”. The subtle energies that circulate throughout the body have been largely ignored (until recently) by western scientists. As a result, our use of them for physical, emotional and spiritual healing has been sparse at best. With tapping, however, we rebalance the energy system. As a result, using EFT, people often experience results that are far beyond those of conventional methods.
People who have experienced the benefits of EFT often feel it is a miracle. Indeed, its simplicity belies its profound, life changing results. Occasionally, the use of EFT alone gives clients the results they seek. When used hand-in hand with hypnotherapy, the changes are powerful, indeed. EFT acts as the “eraser”, releasing the old obstacles in the form of negative emotions. Hypnotherapy acts as the “installer”, helping to guide the subconscious mind in new and positive directions.